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What Is a Diagnostic Sonographer?

Jun 08, 2010

A diagnostic sonographer uses medical imaging equipment, usually an ultrasound machine, to take images of the inside of a patient's anatomy. A sonographer is responsible for directing the high-frequency sound waves at the appropriate area of the body using a transponder, and then capturing the images using the ultrasound machine's computer screen.

To start, the diagnostic sonographer will meet the patient and go over what the procedure entails. An ultrasound is completely non-invasive, so there is no risk. Sometimes a gel is used on the skin to help the sound waves penetrate better for an enhanced picture.

A diagnostic sonographer can take images of any area of the body, or they can choose to specialize in a specific field, like cardiac or obstetric. To become a diagnostic sonographer you will need to complete a two- or four-year program. According to PayScale, the average salary for this career is $66,617 per year.

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